Ernest Hemingway's "For whom the bell tolls"

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 1996

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At first glance Hemingway's novel For Whom The Bell Tolls appears to be an action packed war novel. But underneath all the action there are underlying ideas that reveal much about how war changes a man and causes him to realise the importance of time.

Hemingway reveals these ideas about war through the narrator's thoughts and through the interaction between the major characters. Hemingway shows that war brings about a personal change, that reveals much about man's individuality and that time is limited.

Hemingway reveals much about the individuality of men through the relationship of Robert Jordan and Maria. When Jordan is dying at the end of the novel he says to Maria 'Thou wilt go now, rabbit. But I go for thee. As long as there is one of us there is both of us. Do you understand?'(p460) We begin to understand how we as people are never truly alone but instead are always surrounded by the memories and thoughts of those we love.

When two people truly fall in love they become as one. Where one goes, both go. Robert finally says to her ' The me in thee. Now you go for us both. Truly. We both go in thee now. This I have promised thee. Stand up. Thou art me now. Thou art all there will be of me. Stand up.' (Pg.462) By saying this Jordan reveals how man is never an individual but instead is made up of all the influences, experiences, and memories that we have shared with others.

Furthermore This change came upon Jordan as a consequence of joining the war. Before the war had started he had no idea what it meant to be an individual, or to truly fall in love. Jordan says to Maria 'I have never loved someone...